Thank you for your email dated 9 December 2012 regarding the establishment of a container deposit scheme to reduce litter in Western Australia.
The Western Australian Government has been working with other jurisdictions to investigate the potential for a national container deposit scheme, and other measures, to address packaging waste impacts through the Standing Council on Environment and Water. In December 2011, the Standing Council released a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) to explore a limited number of measures that have the potential to increase packaging resource recovery rates and decrease packaging litter. The Standing Council received hundreds of submissions from industry, environment groups, the community and local governments on the Consultation RIS, strongly supporting further action to address the environmental impacts of packaging waste and litter.
At the Standing Council's meeting on 24 August 2012, Environment Ministers agreed to develop a Decision RIS to undertake a more detailed analysis, including regional and other distributional impacts. In response to the consultation feedback, the Standing Council agreed that the following three further options, not considered in the Consultation RIS, be included in the Decision RIS:
• an industry co-regulatory stewardship scheme focussing on beverage containers only;
• an approach similar to the Australian Packaging Covenant, with a substantial increase in industry funding for initiatives; and
• a container deposit model based on the South Australian system.
Western Australia has a number of initiatives to reduce illegal dumping and litter, including the creation of a new offence of dumping waste under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, with increased penalties to deter illegal dumping, and changes to the Litter Act 1979, which commenced in November 2012 to increase penalties for littering. More information about these and other initiatives is available on the Keep Australia Beautiful Western Australia website at www.kabc.wa.gov.au
On 6 March 2012, I launched the Western Australian Waste Strategy "Creating the Right Environment", which outlines priorities and strategic objectives for the next decade to reduce waste to landfill and increase recycling. The Government has also been active in improving the recovery of packaging waste in Western Australia with grants awarded to operators of innovative glass packaging waste recycling systems. You can find more about these and similar initiatives by visiting the Waste Authority website at www.zerowaste.wa.gov.au
or the Australian Packaging Covenant website at www.packagingcovenant.org.au
Once the national process has been completed and its findings have been assessed, the Government will determine any requirement for further actions to ensure an effective and efficient outcome is achieved on the management of packaging waste in Western Australia.
I appreciate your interest in this matter and trust this information is of assistance.